08/08/2011 1:11PM

Frankel ranked best in world


Frankel, the 3-year-old Juddmonte Farms superstar who ran his unbeaten streak to eight with a five-length triumph in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on July 27, has taken over the top spot in the World Thoroughbred Rankings, which were released this week by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.

Frankel, named for the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, is weighted at 135, overtaking the unbeaten Australian mare Black Caviar (13 for 13 and weighted at 130). Three horses are tied for No. 3 at 127, including the recently retired Canford Cliffs. There are no North American horses in the top 10, which ends with Goldikova in a tie for ninth with the Irish-bred Dick Turpin.

Trained by Henry Cecil, Frankel won all four starts at 2 and now has raced four times at 3 after dominating older horses, including Canford Cliffs, under regular rider Thomas Queally in the Sussex. Cecil, the iconic British trainer, said in published reports following the Sussex that he was confident Frankel would win and that “I think he’s the best I’ve ever seen.”

Black Caviar, trained by Peter Moody, has been strictly a turf sprinter and has never ventured outside of Australia while earning nearly $3.5 million and being favored in all 13 starts.

Based on races run during the period of Feb. 1 through July 31, the rankings attempt to assimilate a pecking order of horses throughout the world. First published in 2004, the rankings typically downplay the feats of American horses, perhaps with the exception of superstars such as Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta.

Acclamation, a winner of three straight major grass stakes in Southern California for trainer Don Warren, is the top-ranked American-raced grass horse, tied for No. 12 at 122. Teaks North, the American turf horse, is ranked at 121.

The top-ranked American dirt horses are Animal Kingdom and Shackleford, both at 121. Coil, Havre de Grace, Blind Luck, and Stay Thirsty are closely bunched behind them.

See the complete rankings